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A total of nine basketball players representing The Wilson Times readership area have been selected to the North Carolina Basketball Coaches Association All-District 3 team, encompassing Pitt, Greene, Lenoir, Edgecombe, Nash, Wilson and Wayne Counties.
Greene Central’s Imajae Dodd, a UNC Wilmington signee, was the only area player to be named to the first team.
Dodd, a 6-foot-7 senior forward, led the Rams to a 23-8 record and a return to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A East Region final.
Second-team boys selections consisted of Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf junior Jeremiah Deans and SouthWest Edgecombe junior Keishon Porter.
Deans, at 6-2 and 215 pounds, was often the sole source of attention for opposing defenses, while at times outscoring the opponent by his lonesome last season.
Porter directed SouthWest Edgecombe to a 15-14 record and a second-round showing in the NCHSAA 2-A postseason. He averaged 19.3 points per game and 6.4 rebounds, giving the Cougars a 6-4 combo option who could play above the rim.
On the third team, Southern Nash senior Darius Edmundson and Fike senior Elijahwon Cooper earned selections.
In pacing Fike to an 18-10 record and the second round of the 3-A playoffs, Cooper led the Golden Demons from his point guard position, pouring in 16 points, 4.8 rebounds and leading the team with 3.3 assists per game.
Edmundson, the Big East Conference Player of the Year, engineered the Firebirds to a 16-10 showing and a run to the third round of the 3-A postseason.
The 6-foot-1 guard led Southern with 15.9 points per game and pulled down 8.7 rebounds, displaying a propensity to take over games and push the Firebirds to victories in the final minutes.
Day’ron Sharpe from NCHSAA 4-A champion Winterville South Central was named the District 3 Player of the Year, while Coach of the Year honors went to the Falcons’ Chris Cherry.
In the girls ranks, area players made up four of the five slots on the All-District 3 second team with Hunt’s Bria Griffith, Beddingfield’s Makayla Everette, Hunt’s Imani Sutton and Southwest Edgecombe’s Jada Battle.
Griffith and Sutton helped the Lady Warriors to the best season in school history at 22-4 and lost in the third round to eventual NCHSAA 3-A champion Southeast Guilford. The Lady Warriors won back-to-back conference titles for the first time in school history and their third overall.
Griffith, the Big East’s Player of the Year, led the way with 15.8 points per game and 6.3 rebounds, while also leading Hunt in assists with 3.7 per game. Sutton, whose volume scoring from the 3-point line boosted Hunt in postseason play, posted 13.8 points per game and pulled down an average of five rebounds per contest.
Battle helped return Sandra Langley’s Lady Cougars to the 20-win plateau for the second time in three seasons from her point guard spot. The sophomore was second on the team at 14.4 points per game, handed out over seven assists per contest and pestered opposing point guards to the tune of 5.1 steals per outing.
Everette was the constant inside for a Lady Bruins team surrounded by young players. She was a double-double threat each time out as Beddingfield finished with a 5-18 record.